Updated: Jun 23
Hope is a choice. A decision. Fear, doubt and discouragement are evils clamoring at every door and window. It is our decision to invite them in and make them selves comfortable or hang out the ‘gone fishing’ sign.
We have never before found ourselves in times of such a magnitude of uncontrollable conditions and horrific suffering. We are simply at a loss as to what to do. So while the top officials are frantically searching for relief, people need to hear some sort of hope since most can’t see or feel it. That things are going to turn out alright. That is somebody is in control. Hope that this suffering is not in vain.
I read faith books to keep myself lifted and recently came across a line: FACT first, FAITH second and FEELINGS third. What? Feelings have no real weight in the matter?
Bonnie Henry is a great example of the FFF formula. And I think she has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills as a result. Yes she has feelings but they are not her deciding factor. Fact comes first. She knows her onions and is truthful with us. And tells us … gently. She lays out a plan of action as a result of fact. Then has faith that we will follow through, (instead of using the heavy handed approach of enforcement). And lastly feelings. She’s not afraid to show us her emotion, but nor does she let them run the show. Feelings aren’t useless just because they aren’t first. We have faith in Bonnie because she has feelings.
And what of faith? Faith in something greater than mankind. For me it’s Jesus Christ and His Word. And I feel so hopeful for our world today. Yes there are staggering numbers – I think I heard three million lives are lost, an estimated 30 million will be below the extreme poverty line and 300 million will be out of work. Yet I have this unmistakable hope and joy inside that out of the very ashes of will rise up a beautiful new world with a new order. A transformation to a people with renewed hearts and minds.
And the dialogues I’ve had lately seem to lend themselves to defining that hope in concrete ways.
Recently I had a conversion with my 85 year old aunt. She came back with her sad comments about businesses going bankrupt, worried now that owners won’t be able to feed their families and young people, like her grand daughters just starting, out haven’t got a chance. She felt sorry for them that it was unfair they were stuck with a mess they didn’t make and had no future, as it would take years to fix. I told her I saw it quite different.
I said I see these hardship as events that will bring us back to the real and eternal value of things, something we have seemed to forgotten. They will hopefully renew our hearts, minds and souls. Essentially bring us back to God.
To support my view, a girlfriend, a recent retiree (recent as in before the pandemic) with a commerce degree, shared with me. She just took a week-long investments conference out of interest and curiosity. She was sharing with me some of the hope she heard. There were 900 attendees - bankers, advisors, investors – folks in the prime of their careers. She was telling me about the explosion of responsible investments going on around the world. Apparently the ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) has always been around, but since Covid, has exploded. Her overall take-away was these individuals, the Millenniums, and the new generation coming up behind them, the iGen, will shape our new world. The way I see it, right now we’re going through the world-wide forest fire so to speak, destroying all. And it is these investment advisors that will make the ginormous impact in reshaping our new world. And to hear of the shifted focus in the industry from not just high returns but to exploding responsible investing first gives me great hope.
That got my thinking about my own family. I come from a huge family and have the third and fourth generation cousins coming up. One is studying to be a lawyer, one is a brilliant physicist working in London, (England), one an aspiring doctor, there’s a nurse, a batch of new mothers in forestry in Prince George, and a batch in university in Australia. To think my own family would be playing key roles in reshaping our earth is an honor.
These are the tech saavy Millenniums that will steer the way in using technology, resources and money more responsibly. They will see the brilliant possibilities of building a sustainable future with it, instead of grumbling about having to ‘learn computers’ like my generation. And they will have valuable lessons to pass on to their young because of coming through Covid. These bright young minds are the techie frontrunners in reshaping our world that will last for generations to come. How privileged is that to do something as important for mankind? And our family is just one of millions.
Another piece I heard was from a local farmer at a local vegetable market here in Victoria. He was saying how there is a real buzz, a real interest from young people interested in farming here on the island again. How cool is that?
You may say I’m a Pollyanna about it all. Yes there will always be the naysayers, skeptics and cynics, but hope is a choice. Backed up by faith. And I choose Hope. Backed up by Jesus Christ.
I picked up a wallet card that has sat on my furnace thermostat in various homes for the past 30 years. And it’s more true today than ever.
“As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
And this is where my hope comes from. A choice.
A friend of mine added the following note: The Greek word for hope is ελπις but it also means expectation or expectant. I do believe our culture has abandoned the idea of having expectant hearts, she says.
The email that went around in early June 2020 that sparked this conversation
TRAFFIC has gone.
FUEL is affordable.
KIDS are at home with their FAMILIES.
PARENTS are home taking care of their CHILDREN.
FAST FOOD replaced by HOME COOKED MEALS.
Hectic SCHEDULES replaced by NAPS, REST, and RELAXATION.
The AIR seems CLEANER.
The WORLD quieter.
PEOPLE are conscious about HYGIENE and HEALTH.
MONEY doesn't make the WORLD GO ROUND anymore.
DESIGNER stuff is pointless as nobody ever really needed it.
DOCTORS AND NURSES are being praised and recognized instead of athletes & celebrities.
And WE now have TIME, finally, to STOP and SMELL the ROSES.
And to LOOK UP, JUST LOOK UP AT THE STARS.
Our world is pretty amazing!